Employees Spend More Time Coordinating Their Work Than Actually Working. The Remedy? Host Fewer Meetings

Elbert Grims


Think twice before you send that calendar invite.

Employees increasingly say that unnecessary meetings have cut down on their productivity during the work day, according to a new survey of 10,624 knowledge workers released by the productivity management software company Asana. On average, employees spend 58 percent of their day on work coordination, instead of focusing on their skilled, strategic jobs. Nearly a quarter also say that they have too many meetings, which contributes to a decrease in productivity.

Data from Microsoft also points to an overabundance of meetings. Looking at the usage of Microsoft Teams, researchers recently found that in hybrid and remote workplaces, employees have three productivity peaks: before and after lunch, and between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. This third peak–a time away from constant pings and meetings–has emerged over the past year, and Microsoft suggests that it’s evidence workers are using the flexibility of their work-from-home lifestyles to manage their workloads. After the end of the traditional work day, some employees find themselves better able to focus without a barrage of meetings and messages.

Hybrid workplace flexibility gives employees the freedom to optimize their schedules to their own needs, but managers still need to organize workflow and establish targets to move their organization towards its goals. Scheduling fewer meetings and better communicating employee expectations could be the key to increasing productivity, suggests Asana’s findings.

To make remote meetings more productive, make sure they have a clear objective that aligns with your business’s overarching goals, Carrie McKeegan, CEO of the Grandville, Michigan-based tax prep company Greenback Expert Tax Services, previously wrote on Inc.com. With less digital face-to-face time spent in virtual meetings–during which 52 percent of employees end up multitasking–employees can spend more time actually getting their jobs done.


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